Dish soap is great! It’s handy not only for dishes, but also for cleaning all sorts of other things. It cuts right through grease and makes things squeaky-clean. I truly believe that with a good sponge, dish soap, and lots of hot water, you can clean just about anything.
But I’ve learned — through research and real life experience — that there are a few things you should never do with dish soap. Here they are.
1. Mix it with bleach
When it comes to cleansers, you should never, ever mix them. Why? Because some combos can be toxic. And unless you’re a chemist, you’re probably not an expert. So never ever mix your dish soap with bleach, ammonia, or any other cleanser.
2. Wash your cast iron skillet
While some people think it’s perfectly fine to use dish soap to clean a cast iron skillet, the rule of thumb is generally not to. Instead, use oil and salt.
3. Wash your moka pot
Over time, the coffee’s oils will season the moka pot, which makes the coffee taste better. If you clean it with soap, you’ll remove that thin oily layer. Manufacturers recommend cleaning with plain ol’ water.
Read more: How To Clean a Moka Pot
4. Put it in the dishwasher
You may be tempted to put dish soap into the dishwasher if you run out of dishwasher detergent, but don’t. While they both clean dishes, the formulas are totally different, and dish soap’s ultra-sudsy blend could harm the machine or, at the very least, lead to bubbles galore creeping out of your dishwasher.
5. Put it in the washing machine
Different appliance, same problem: Dish soap is not formulated to work in your washing machine. It’s fine to use it to spot-clean sturdier fabrics (not delicate ones like silk or leather), but squirting some in to wash a load can lead to more suds than your machine can handle.
(Image credit: Johner Images/Getty Images)
6. Wash your car
Dish soap is very strong. Your car’s paint looks strong, but it’s actually kind of weak. Using a harsh cleanser can strip away the finish, leaving it more vulnerable to chips and dullness. Shell out for the special car cleaner instead.
7. Wash your face
Look, if it’s too strong for your car, it’s definitely too strong for your face. It’s probably even too strong for your hands — which is why many of us prefer to wear gloves while washing dishes. Especially with young children or if you have delicate skin, try to cut down on the amount of time you spend up to your elbows in bubbles.
This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: 7 Things You Should Never Do with Dish Soap